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Chapter 27 : The One Where I Learn More About William
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A massive thank you to my Beta Sam, for being awesome!
“I have to go,” James said sadly and sounding reluctant as he leant his forehead against mine.
I nodded, unable to actually process anything let alone form words. I was still breathless from the kiss that I shared with him, and my mind was still reeling from everything that had happened in the last hour alone.
I looked up into his eyes, grinning before I could stop myself and James pressed his lips against mine gently and in one final kiss before moving away from me. The warmth of his hand left my hip and I shivered slightly as I blinked around me. I had forgotten that we were stood in the middle of the Quidditch pitch, which would soon be filled with everyone in the castle.
“Yeah,” I said slowly, finally finding my voice again as I pushed my hands into my pockets.
James bit his lip as he looked down at his watch and letting out a groan. “I wish I didn’t have to, I wish I could stay with you.”
“You have to go. I don’t think that Gryffindor will be too happy if you miss the game,” I told him shrugging, even though I wish that he could stay with me.
“You’re worth it.” He bent down to pick up the bat and the tennis balls as I felt my cheeks redden at his words. “Are you going to watch the match?”
“Of course, there’s a really good looking guy who plays for the Gryffindor team,” I joked daringly. James looked up at me and smiled. “Think I might have to ask him out on a date.”
“Nathan Thatcher get’s all of the girls. It’s those damn boy band looks and the fact that he’s a Chaser.”
I laughed at him and shook my head at him.
“Are you sure? His dad is a famous musician.”
I was surprised. “Is he?”
“No idea, probably.” James laughed and I shoved him away from me as I rolled my eyes at him.
“You should get going before you’re dragged to the changing room by your Captain,” I told him. I didn’t want him to go, but he had to get to the match; people were beginning to arrive. James looked almost reluctant as he turned around and began walking off, throwing me looks over his shoulder as I slowly made my way out of the stadium.
“And you shouldn’t be jealous of the Chasers. Everyone knows that girls love the Seekers,” I called back, which caused James to turn but continue walking backwards.
“Good to know. I’ll seek you out after the game.” He laughed loudly at his own pun and I chuckled as I turned away; the grin was beginning to hurt my face, but I didn’t care. I was happy.
William, Isabella, and Sian were waiting for me outside of the stadium and I was thankful. I didn’t want to have to sit on my own because I had lost them; at least Michelle would be on the pitch so I would have avoided being forced to sit with her.
I still can’t believe that she had done this to me.
Isabella was feeling the same way, the difference was the she was very vocal about it.
“Is there any way that I can throw something at her?” Isabella growled, glaring up at Michelle as she flew above the stadium. I had tried not to look at Michelle, focusing instead on where James was hovering and the sweets that William was sharing with us. Apparently, his dad had sent him a massive package of sweets and he was nice enough to share with the rest of us. Something he didn’t have to do.
“Don’t waste any of the sweets,” Sian stated, glancing at the ones in Isabella’s hands warily.
“I would never throw sweets,” Isabella shook her head, shifting in her seat as she brought her foot up to rest on the back of the stall in front of her, holding her hand out to William, who was sat next to her, to give her some more sweets. He obliged with a roll of his eyes.
“Does anyone have any weapons on them?” she asked, looking at each of us in turn.
“Not in this coat, love,” William said and I giggled. “Just sweets in this one.”
“Love?” Isabella scoffed, shaking her head at William. “Who says love anymore? Aside from old people that is.”
“Would you prefer Sweetheart? Pumpkin? Sugar? Hot lips?”
“Hot lips?” Isabella broke into loud laughter, causing the people in front of us to turn around and face us. I looked away from Isabella and William to find James again. “You’re ridiculous. COME ON GRYFFINDOR, KICK ADDISON OFF OF HER BROOM!”
I turned to look at Isabella, eyes widening slightly at her yell; quite a few people had turned to look at her again.
“You can be quite a scary person when you want to be,” William said. Our eyes met and I could tell that he was a little impressed. “Not to me, of course, I’m not scared of anything.”
I watched as Isabella turned to look at him with her eyebrows raised.
“We’ll see about that, ” Isabella told him, shifting in her chair. “Stupid Gryffindors with their bravery.”
“Half of it isn’t bravery, its stupidity.”
We settled back into watching the game; Hufflepuff were winning by twenty points, but I didn’t care. I wanted James to catch the Snitch; I wanted him to be happy.
“Why are you even over here in enemy territory?” Isabella asked William. I could see that she was leaning her shoulder against him, but William didn’t seem to care. It was weird to think that just a few hours ago she was yelling at him and threatening violence. “Shouldn’t you be sitting with the other Gryffindors?”
“And miss your commentary on hurting Addison? I wouldn’t miss that for the world.”
“It’s not my fault that she’s a bitch,” Isabella stated and I agreed with her wholeheartedly.
“Are you sure that you’re a Hufflepuff?” he asked her.“You’ve been quite threatening today.”
“I’m fiercely loyal to my friends. We’re not all hugs and pleasantries; she shouldn’t have been such a class A Bitch. Oh, how I want to hurt her.”
“I want to let you. I still can’t believe that she did this to me,” I stated, eyes focused on James. I could feel my eyes sting with angry tears again as I thought about how much Michelle had almost destroyed my life.
I found her flying around the pitch, glaring at her as I tried not to shake from my anger. I had no idea how I was even going to face her in lessons, or in the dormitory that I shared. I wished that I could avoid her forever, but I wouldn’t be able to.
I was terrified that she was going to play herself as the victim in this and that I would give in and forgive her, as I had always done. But, I was determined to be stronger; she had completely betrayed me and shattered my trust in her.
“GO ON, JAMES!” William yelled loudly, standing up and cupping his hands around his mouth to make his voice louder. The Hufflepuffs around us glanced at William, before turning back to the game and not saying anything. I watched as my boyfriend flew across the pitch, leaning low across his broom in an attempt to make it faster, hand outstretched in front of him and the Hufflepuff Seeker close behind him.
“COME ON JAMES!” I yelled with William and several Hufflepuffs looked positively scandalised that I was cheering for another team. Not that anyone said anything to me.
James managed to catch the snitch and me, William, Isabella,and Sian erupted in loud cheers and stamping of our feet. We should have been supporting our own house, but faced with the choice of supporting your ex best friend who almost succeeded in ruining your life, or the guy of your dreams, wouldn’t you have chosen the latter?
“In your face, Hufflepuff!” William called loudly. “You all suck.”
I turned in time to see Isabella get William into a headlock and pull him to the floor as she attempted to hurt him.
Of course, Isabella was the fiercest Hufflepuff that I had ever known; it wouldn’t take much for her to attack like a badger. We’re not always as placid as people think that we are.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if I haven’t got claw marks from your vicious and unnecessary attack on me in the stadium,” I heard William telling Isabella.
“Oh, you so deserved it. Be thankful that’s the only place I hurt,” Isabella shot back.
“You did hurt me in other places, but we’re in too public a place to show you. Although if you want to go somewhere a bit more private.”
My eyes widened in surprise at his words being so forward and I heard Isabelle chuckle behind me.
“You wish, Sutton,” Isabella shot back still chuckling.
They were both trailing behind James and me as we walked through the castle and had been flirting with each other ever since we had left the pitch. Sian had left us to go and find her sister and James had caught up to us about half an hour after the match was over. His hair was damp from the shower he had taken and he smelt of apples.
He grinned at me knowingly when he caught me sniffing his hair.
I watched as James frowned slightly as he looked at William and Isabella laughing with each other.
“Wow, they sure do work fast in their flirting,” he said turning to face me. I agreed with him. “It was only this morning I thought that she was going to beat the crap out of him.”
“The world works in mysterious ways,” I stated. And it really did, it’s strange to think how in a matter of hours your entire life could change, how you could be best friends with someone in the morning, then find out that they’re backstabbing and untrustworthy in the afternoon.
“It’s oddly unsettling, but at least we don’t have to worry about our friends not getting along when we hang out with each other,” James told me, pulling me closer and placing a kiss on my head. I felt myself blushing as he did so. I didn't think that I would ever get over the fact that I was now dating James, that he would be doing this.
I surely had to be dreaming. I had to keep pinching myself to make sure that I wasn’t.
“Wasn’t he seeing with some girl from Ravenclaw?” I asked, looking back at our friends. William was grinning at Isabella, who seemed to be miming kicking someone. I could guess that it was probably about Michelle or Rebecca. I turned back around as James gave his answer.
“That ended pretty quickly; apparently William’s sister doesn’t take too kindly with her brother sleeping with her friend.”
I couldn’t help but be shocked, glancing back at William, who was watching Isabella intently.
“Do you think that he’ll keep trying it on with Isabella?” I asked quietly. James shrugged, throwing an arm around my shoulder as we walked and left the two behind us.
“Probably, this is William we’re talking about; he wouldn’t look like it, but he’s a massive flirt. Like father, like son.” James chuckled at his own words. “The real question is if she’ll take the bait.”
“Is his dad a womaniser too?” I asked, I didn’t know anything about William’s life, aside from the fact that he had a twin sister and a younger brother.
“Duncan? No, he’s not a womaniser, he’s never liked women. He goes through a lot of men though, and he is the biggest flirt I have ever seen.”
I frowned as I processed his words and remembered that William had a twin sister and a younger brother.
“Was William and his brother and sister adopted?” I asked carefully, “You don’t have to tell me if William wants to keep it private.”
I knew that I was prying into James’ best friend’s life, and he probably wouldn’t even be able to tell me, but I couldn’t help but be curious about it.
“No, it’s alright, I can tell you. William won’t mind.” James guided me over to the stairs of one of the staircases and we took a seat on them; the corridor was empty so we weren’t likely to trip anyone up and it gave a chance for William and Isabella to catch us up, if they wanted to.
He looked around us before turning to me and speaking in a quieter voice. “Duncan is William, Sophie and Steven’s uncle on their mother’s side. Their mother was troubled; I’m not sure what exactly happened as William doesn’t like to talk about it, but William and his siblings ended up being taken from her and Duncan stepped in to look after them whilst she sorted her life out. Their dad had left and couldn’t be found and if Duncan didn’t take them, the Ministry would have found another home for them and split them all up. They’ve been with Duncan ever since.”
I was shocked; I really wasn’t expecting him to have that kind of background. I didn’t know what I could say to that, it was so sad.
“How old was he?” I asked softly. I really wanted to hug William, but I didn’t have the guts to.
“I met him when I was six. He wasn’t the talkative person that you see now; back then, he was so quiet and apparently wouldn’t open up to anyone. Duncan is my Aunt Audrey’s best friend and had come over when she was babysitting me. The minute that I saw William, I knew that we would be best friends and here we are now.”
“And the idiot has been the bane or my existence ever since.”
I jumped and whirled around at the sound of William’s voice, feeling instantly guilty that we had been discussing him. He didn’t seem angry or upset that we had done though and I noticed that Isabella wasn’t with him anymore.
“You love me really,” James shot back. “Where’d Isabella go? Scare her off already?”
“No, she said something about finding Sian,” he told us, sitting down next to me on the stairs and clasping his hands in front of him as he watched me. “She told me to say goodbye to you.”
I nodded, still staring at him and he glanced at James quickly, a slow shake of his head.
“You told her the entire thing, didn’t you?” he asked.
“As much as I know.” James replied.
“I’m sorry,” I said quickly, not wanting James to get in trouble for telling me. “I asked, I didn’t mean to pry.”
“No, its fine, I don’t mind,” William told me. He seemed genuine, but I couldn’t help but worry about repercussions. If this was with Michelle, there would certainly be repercussions. “You can ask questions, its fine.”
I nodded. I didn’t know what questions to ask that didn’t seem like I was prying too much. I didn’t want him to feel like he had to answer them. William seemed to realise my deliberation.
“How about I just catch you up with what James hasn’t told you,” he said, shifting so that he was turned to face me as he spoke, looking me in the eyes and I noticed that he seemed perfectly calm and happy. No hint of anger towards me at all. “No, I don’t see my biological parents. I hate my biological father with a passion; he has never been there for me. My mother I haven’t seen since I was twelve, she moved away and I have no idea where she went. I honestly don’t want to find her. I don’t want anything to do with either of them. To me, Duncan is the only parent I have ever known or want. He is my dad.”
I nodded. The urge to hug him was getting stronger and before I could chicken out I threw myself forwards and gave him a quick hug. I went to pull away quickly in embarrassment, but William wrapped his arms around me and held me to him.
“I’m sorry you had to go through that,” I told him honestly. I couldn’t imagine going through that myself.
“Hey, I’ve managed to get through it,” William told me as I let him go.
“Because you had Duncan, he’s pretty damn awesome,” James said, wrapping an arm around me and pulling me so that I was leaning against him as I faced William.
“Yeah, dad is. He officially adopted me when I was eleven and I took on his last name as soon as I was able to. Sophie and Steven aren’t ready for that step yet, it’s why our last names are different, but Sophie is still in contact with our biological father and mother. It’s only a letter once or twice a year, but that’s her choice. They tried to write to me once, but I burnt the letters. They didn’t try again.”
“I’m feeling sad for you again,” I told him honestly and William smiled.
“You really shouldn’t. I’ve got an amazing dad, I’m happy.”
I couldn’t help but watch him though, feeling sad again but happy that he had a great dad like Duncan. William rolled his eyes but smiled.
“Do we need to hug again?” he asked me. “Would that make you feel better?”
I nodded and he held out his arms for me to lean forwards and give him another hug.
“I hope that I can meet Duncan one day, he sounds amazing,” I told him honestly.
“Don’t worry, we’ll arrange for you to come over in the Easter holidays and you can meet him then.”
I nodded against his chest. Thankful that William didn’t mind that this information was confided to me and that he trusted me to know it.
“Do you know that I don’t think that I’ve officially asked you out yet?”
I thought about James’s statement as we walked slowly down a corridor. There wasn’t much for us to do after dinner that night, except stroll along some corridors. It was raining so we didn’t want to go outside, that and it was dark.
“Huh,” I stated, realising that he was right. Was he having second thoughts about wanting to be with me?
“Yeah, we should probably sort that situation out.” James told me, stopping our walk so that he could turn to face me. “Would you like to be asked in a romantic way, a dramatic way? Would you like a banner, which I would trail behind me on my broom when I flew around? OH! No, I’ve got it! There shall be a musical number performed in the Great Hall. I’ll get William in on it, he’s a great dancer. I can sing about my feelings for you.”
I couldn’t help but laugh at him, so hard that I was practically bent over in two and clutching at my stomach, which was beginning to hurt. James was laughing next to me, his eyes twinkling in amusement as he watched me. It was a while before I could stop long enough to speak.
“As fantastic as the musical number would be,” I told him honestly, because it really would be. “I don’t think that William would go along with it.”
“Nonsense, he loves dancing... although that might just be when he’s drunk?” James added as an afterthought.
“I think I’d prefer you just asking me,” I stated, feeling my cheeks heating up a little, feeling nervous at the thought of him asking me out officially.
“So, no banners?” he asked, sounding a little put out.
I shook my head, hoping that he wasn’t being serious.
“How would you like me to ask you?”
I shrugged. “However you want to.”
James shifted on the spot, looking nervous himself. I could tell because his hand had found the back of his head and was scratching it as he looked at me.
“But... what words would I say?” he asked me, sounding deadly serious.
“Will you go out with me?” I supplied for him, what else would he say?
“Yes, I would love to go out with you, Abigail.” James grinned at me and it took me a second to realise that he had just tricked me into asking him out.
My mouth fell open and I shook my head at him. James seemed pretty excited though as the hand fell from the back of his head and grabbed for my hand to pull me over to him.
“I can’t wait to tell everyone that we’re official, you’ve made me the happiest boy in the world,” he told me, sounding very much like a teenage girl as he spoke.
He really did know how to make me laugh.
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